Principal charges Sitton brothers with retaliation

Principal charges Sitton brothers with retaliation

Monday, January 27, 2014

Cynthia Calvert

Reassignment, demotion result of discovery

An Humble ISD principal is charging retaliation in a situation involving her demotion and reassignment. Diaka Carter was an associate principal at Humble High School (HHS) last year when she was suddenly notified she was being demoted and transferred to Summer Creek High School for the 2013-14 school year. Carter had previously discovered that Humble head baseball coach David Sitton, brother of Humble ISD School Board Member Robert Sitton, was “violating campus and district policies concerning his athletic periods,” according to a complaint filed with the district. Carter contends that when she reported this and reassigned David Sitton, his brother, Robert, complained, prodded and eventually succeeded in having district administrators reassign her to a different school and at a lesser position. Robert Sitton denies this. Although Carter has an exemplary personnel record, Assistant Superintendent Trey Kraemer notified her she was losing her job at HHS, being demoted to an assistant principal, reassigned to SCHS and would be paid thousands of dollars less per year. According to Carter, Kraemer’s explanation was that the actions were “political” and were not “job performance related.” Carter, astonished, filed two grievances with Humble ISD over what she says is retaliation, copies of which were obtained by the Tribune. According to the complaints, in early May 2012, Carter found out that David Sitton was not reporting to his assigned fifth period baseball class. He was “in essence being afforded an additional off period,” was “leaving campus every day and could not be located.” Carter attempted to discuss the situation with Athletic Director Troy Kite but he referred her back to the campus administrators. Carter reported David Sitton’s unauthorized daily absences to her superiors and eventually reassigned David Sitton (from U.S. History to World History) and compelled him to teach a full load of courses. Carter says David Sitton confronted her and expressed his anger at her actions. According to Carter, Humble ISD Board Member Robert Sitton then became involved. Over the course of several months, he persistently demanded that leadership change at the high school and repeatedly asked HHS Principal Dr. Charles Ned “what he was going to do about it.'” After reassigning David Sitton, another incident occurred during graduation. Robert Sitton came to the ceremony and was angry to discover that he, as a board member, had no seat on the stage marked with his name. Robert Sitton then asked for a meeting with Ned the next week where he said others were complaining about Carter’s “strong personality” and suggested a change of leadership was needed, according to the grievance. Kraemer was promoted to assistant superintendent the next month, in June of 2012. Robert Sitton met with him soon after to complain about the “lack of leadership” at HHS and about Carter’s personality. During the 2012-13 year, Kraemer had several meetings with Ned and board members concerning Carter and a general concern about HHS. According to Carter’s grievance, Kraemer even told Ned that he had too many African Americans as teachers to which Ned responded that his hiring tried to match the campus demographics. In March 2013, Robert Sitton met with Kraemer and Deputy Superintendent Dr. Tommy Price to say that he was still getting complaints about HHS and asked “what the plan was” for the next year. Kraemer then met with Ned again and asked what members of his leadership team he wanted to retain…

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